A Comparative Analysis of Health Care Access and Utilization: Nordic Countries VS. USA

Deborah E. Sobotie


The purpose of this study is to examine healthcare access and utilization to explain the differences in health care outcomes between the Nordic countries and the US to inform public policy.  The study uses desktop research methodology using information from publicly available statistics in both the Nordic countries and the U.S. In all 300 articles, journal publications, and websites post about the subject matter were included in this study. The economic data used in the study derive from national sources in the Nordic countries, OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) health database, and European Union Eurostat. The healthcare systems in the Nordic countries are publicly financed through taxation and are universal, whereby every person obtains access to the health services they need, when they need them, and without facing healthcare costs that force them into financial hardship. The healthcare system in the U.S. is not universal; it is profit-driven (in terms of private medical services and health insurance programs in the marketplace), and when provided by public institutions, are managed at astronomical rising costs. A significant number of U.S. adults has medical debts. Citizens of the Nordic countries have a better access to, and higher utilization levels of, health care than their U.S. counterparts. Public health policy recommendations would include creation of more social inclusion policies at all levels of government to ensure effective access to, and utilization of, health care for all citizens in the U.S.  The U.S. needs to increase its spending on social programs that decrease healthcare costs.

Keywords: Healthcare Accessibility, Health Insurance, Healthcare Utilization and Universal Healthcare.

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/105-02

Publication date: January 31st 2023

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ISSN 2422-8419

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